Last Friday, there was a shootout in a usually quiet section of Chicago.
Around 10:30 a.m., two cars rolled up in front of a house in the Austin neighborhood and lit it up. The people inside returned fire.
This was the scene from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Police officers responding to a call about 10:30 a.m. saw four people get out of two cars and begin firing toward a house in the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue, Chicago police said.
People inside returned fire and hit one of the gunmen, police said. Addison was transported to a hospital and was pronounced dead, authorities said.
The other shooters jumped back into the cars and left, according to police.
Two people inside the home were also shot, police said.
Paramedics took one person in serious condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said. The other went to a hospital too but the condition was not immediately released.
One person was arrested near the scene and another was taken into custody by Oak Park police officers after the suspects were involved in a crash, police said. The second car was found burnt near Chicago and Lockwood avenues.
Police arrested three of the attackers and two persons in the house and charged them with first-degree murder charges under Illinois’ felony murder statute as well as other crimes. The police said the shootout was the result of a business dispute between factions of the “Four Corner Hustlers” street gang. This should’ve been what is known in police parlance as a “slam-dunk.” However, when the case was presented to prosecutors working for Cook County States’ Attorney Kim Foxx, they declined to file any charges.
But a police report framed the state’s attorney’s office’s decision to decline charges in a different light: “Mutual combatants was cited as the reason for the rejection.” Mutual combat is a legal term used to define a fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked Foxx to reconsider and asked federal prosecutors for help in making a case. The ensuing public spat between Lightfoot and Foxx made Lightfoot seem relatively sane by comparison.
No matter how “the events unfolded,” to quote Foxx’s bullsh** excuse, there was a woman and several minor children inside the home who were placed at risk by the gun battle. It seems very unlikely that blazing away in Chicago’s streets is legal, and killing someone is legal no matter how unclear the cops are on the sequence of events.
Taken by itself, this could be written off as the “they needed killing” defense that was the byword in the Appalachia of my grandparents. But this is not a one-off. It is a pattern.
Last month, 18-year-old Manuel Portes was stabbed to death in a fight with another youth in Schaumberg, IL. The fight can be seen at 1:18 in this video.
In the video, Porties is punched in the face and falls to the ground. It then shows the 17-year-old suspect, who was charged with a misdemeanor, stabbing Porties in the neck as he was lying on the ground.
Family said prosecutors told them they declined to file murder charges due to “mutual combat.”
“They’re saying that it’s mutual combat,” his father said. “How is it mutual combat when my son didn’t have anything to combat with the only thing he had was his two hands?”
The 17-year-old suspect has been charged with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon.
“He stood over my son and finished him, and that’s not murder?” Porties’ father said.
In both cases, Foxx’s office makes the same claim. Despite a body and video, they say they don’t have enough evidence to charge anyone with anything and rely on “mutual combat” as an excuse.
It looks like Foxx is engaged in her own perverted form of “sentencing reform” by legalizing vendetta and vigilantism in Cook County. Rather than prosecute killers, Foxx seems willing to let the bodies stack up so long as innocent bystanders are merely jeopardized but not injured.
Editor’s note: the headline of this article was edited for accuracy after publication. Foxx is Cook County’s State’s Attorney, not Chicago’s.